Real Estate Tycoon Sentenced To Death For Fraud Scheme: REPORT

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Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Truong My Lan, the 67-year-old chairwoman of the Vietnamese real estate company Van Thinh Phat, was sentenced to death Thursday over committing fraud, according to Vietnamese state media, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

Lan was convicted of committing $12.5 billion fraud, the largest in Vietnam’s history, according to the AP. The level of purported fraud reportedly amounted to almost 3 percent of the country’s GDP in 2022. (RELATED: China’s Efforts To Recruit This US Ally Are Unlikely To Work, Experts Say)

She was also convicted of violating banking regulations and bribery, VNE Express reported. Lan’s case reportedly centered on her relationship with Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB) where she did not have a formal position.

The judges said she owned 91.5 percent of its shares, according to the outlet. “She was in reality the owner of SCB. She made the final decisions on credit approval and appointing key leaders and paid them well to control them,” the judges reportedly said.

Lan was accused of using SCB to fund her private expenditures and her real estate operations, the outlet reported.

Death sentences in Vietnam are usually carried out by lethal injection, human rights organizations said, CNN reported.

Lan tried to cover for her alleged flouting of banking regulations by ordering others to bribe State Bank of Vietnam auditors, according to VNE Express.

“It is probably because I joined the banking industry without experience in it. Due to my lack of understanding of legal matters, I could not foresee being dragged into the restructuring of SCB and therefore did the wrong things,” Lan said in an apology to the court over breaking banking rules, the outlet reported back on April 3. She reportedly denied the charges of embezzlement and bribery in the same statement.